Directed by Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman

anomalisa_lafilmcriticsBizarre Mr. Charlie Kaufman. He just can’t let go of the puppets representing the awkwardness that is human interaction and relationship. But, whereas, in “Malkovich”, the puppets were a literal means of avoiding interpersonal communications, “Anomalisa” is an anguished cry for the uniqueness of a truly special relationship…and all the feelings that come with it. In many ways it’s an overtly adult version of “Inside Out.”

In spite of Kaufman’s inability to edit a fairly unintelligible third act (minus the coda, which is lovely), the film feels short, which is a good thing. The use of slow tracking shots during stop motion lends incredible weight. There is no doubt that is an incredible film from a technical standpoint.

But what stuck in my mind was the use of voice as the touchstone for the arc of the film. So much so, that, from time to time, you forget that you are watching puppets. So it must be acknowledged that David Thewlis,  Jennifer Jason Leigh, and especially, Tom Noonan, are what make the film work…

…if it works for you at all. I was indifferent upon completion of my screening, but as time has passed, and as with most Kaufman flicks, the intense, yet comic, introspective examination of one’s place in the world has sneakily crept in to my grand view. I believe that is a mark of a pretty damned good film. However, your results may vary.

Carter Burwell score is fine, but not very dense. No need to own it.

Written 1/29/201


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